Of the 14 research teams to receive 4-year grants expected to result in clinical trials, two focus on brain tumor research.
Recently the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the state stem cell agency, and two international partners awarded more than $250 million to 14 multidisciplinary teams of researchers in California, the UK, and Canada. These awards facilitate the collaboration of some of the top minds in research to develop stem cell-based therapies for 11 diseases.
Two of the 14 teams to be funded are focused on brain tumor research, City of Hope and University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), receiving grants for $19 million each. This is almost $40 million in new funding to find effective treatments of brain tumors. CIRM fully expects these four-year grants will result in a filing with the FDA to begin a clinical trial, a fraction of the time it normally might take.
"NBTS is pleased to have advocated for brain tumor research in the CIRM proceedings and proud of its association with the leading researchers involved in these projects. Congratulations to Drs. Aboody and Berger and their teams." says Mark Cole, Deputy Director of NBTS and an active participant in CIRM review process.
Karen Aboody, MD from City of Hope, and Mitchel Berger, MD from UCSF will lead their respective teams to pursue brain tumor treatments using neural stem cells that are genetically modified to carry a tumor-killing drug. The work of both these groups promises to lead to therapeutic approaches that destroy tumor cells and prevent the re-growth or recurrence of brain tumors.
Both of the principal investigators, as well as many of the team members, are previous NBTS grantees and members of the NBTS Scientific Advisory Council.